DUI Checkpoint: Can I Turn Around?

The American police are constantly devising new means to arrest and prosecute people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and the DUI checkpoint features prominently. Indeed, this is a noble cause because of the inherent DUI dangers. However, in the process, some overzealous police officers disregard the rights of citizens. Unfortunately, the case isn’t different in Indiana, especially with DUI checkpoints.

These checkpoints are one of the ways the police discover DUI drivers in Indiana. Therefore, it’s crucial to know whether you can turn around to avoid the police at a checkpoint. If you already turned around at a DUI checkpoint and the police arrested you, you’ll need an excellent Indianapolis DUI attorney if you want to escape Indiana’s stiff penalties.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Indiana?

Before delving into the issue of reversing at s DUI checkpoint, you must first understand whether such checkpoints are lawful. So, yes, a DUI or sobriety checkpoint is legal in Indiana. Indiana is one of the many American states that recognize and enforce this arrangement.

The United States Supreme Court has long held that DUI stops don’t violate the right to freedom from unlawful search and seizures. Therefore, many drivers think they don’t have to stop at these checkpoints. However, the reverse is the case as the law mandates you to stop at sobriety checkpoints and cooperate with the police.

What Are My Rights at DUI Checkpoints?

The police set up DUI checkpoints to get drunk drivers off the road. They often stop vehicles they reasonably suspect to be driven by drunk drivers. Of course, DUI stops can be random too. However, a DUI checkpoint is pretty similar to regular checkpoints. So, you have all the rights that accrue to you during a routine traffic stop.

Is It Legal to Turn Away From a DUI Checkpoint?

Yes, it’s perfectly lawful to avoid a DUI checkpoint, and no, this isn’t sufficient cause for a police arrest. No Indiana law prevents you from turning around when you see a sobriety checkpoint. However, it would help if you reversed before getting to the checkpoint. Once you reach the DUI stop, you must submit to the police at the scene.

Indeed, you have the right to turn away from a DUI checkpoint. However, how you do this can create an issue for you. Even if you turn away, the police ordinarily won’t chase you. This would be the case except you make an Illegal turn or flout any traffic rules.

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Instances Where the Police Can Stop You for Avoiding a DUI Checkpoint

Turning away from a DUI checkpoint doesn’t create reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop. This is because a driver could be turning away for many reasons. For example, DUI checkpoints often waste motorists’ time. Therefore, a driver with an emergency may want to avoid the stop.

Notably, though, the police may pull you over if you:

  • Drive through the barricades or cones
  • Disregard a traffic sign or signal
  • Refuse to yield
  • Turn without using your turn signal
  • Cross over a divider
  • Drive on the sidewalk
  • Make an Illegal U-turn
  • Drive on the wrong way
  • Turn away at an unreasonable speed

Any of these instances can give the police reasonable suspicion to stop you. If they do, they can pull you over and then notice signs of intoxication. These would include:

  • The smell of alcohol
  • Empty alcohol bottles in the car
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Alcohol on your breath

At this stage, the police now have reasonable suspicion for a DUI arrest. They would then start by conducting field sobriety tests. Usually, it’s when you fail these tests that they’ll take you into custody.

What’s the Solution?

Indeed, you can avoid a DUI checkpoint without giving the police cause to pull you over. All you need to do is ensure that you don’t disobey any traffic rules when making your turn. In addition, make the turn as meticulously as possible. Finally, if possible, turn a long distance away from the DUI checkpoint, so the police don’t sight you.

Indiana DUI Lawyers Can Help You Out of an Illegal DUI Arrest

Have the police arrested you on a DUI charge? Was the arrest because you turned at a DUI checkpoint? If so, then it’s possible to suppress any evidence the police got from such a search. However, doing this alone would be challenging. That’s why it’s best to hire a DUI attorney in Indiana.

Our Indianapolis DUI attorneys have over two decades of experience defending DUI arrestees. Therefore, we have sufficient skill and expertise to get you off such a DUI charge. So, why not call the Law Office of Rathburn to discuss that DUI arrest?